Getting kids to feel and express gratitude


If you'd like your kid's "thank you's" to be infused with a little deeper sense of gratitude, perhaps give the questions below a try.

We all know the joy in giving and receiving gifts, but of course gratitude isn't meant to be contained in an over-commercialized season of commerce. Wouldn't life be a lot more enjoyable if we tapped in to that gratitude year-round?

These questions are geared for kids, but of course they apply to us all (excerpted from Greater Good Magazine):

NOTICE: What have you been given or what do you already have in your life for which you are grateful? Are there gifts behind the material gifts for which you are grateful, like someone thinking about you or caring about you enough to give you the gift?

THINK: Why do you think you received this gift? Do you think you owe the giver something in return? Do you think you earned the gift because of something you did yourself? Do you think the gift was something the giver had to give you?

FEEL: Does it make you feel happy to get this gift? What does that feel like inside? What about the gift makes you feel happy?

DO: Is there a way you want to show how you feel about this gift? Does the feeling you have about this gift make you want to share that feeling by giving something to someone else? Prompting children after experiences of gratitude in order to motivate acts of gratitude, whether they be acts of appreciation or paying it forward, may help children connect their experiences and actions in the world.

Have fun with all the gift exchanges this season! And leave your comments for others on other practices to make it all more heart felt and lasting. xo jennifer